Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

What is it?

Iron is a very important micronutrient for various bodily functions, and when a deficiency develops by negative balance between ingestion and requirement, it is observed the emergence of anemia. In this sense, their recommendations vary according to gender, age and stages of life, such as pregnancy. However, there is a consensus that for men older than 19 years should be provided 8 mg/day and for women aged 19 to 50 years, 18 mg/day should be provided.

What’s the iron for?

This micronutrient is indispensable for biological functions, since it participates in the transport of oxygen and metabolic reactions in the Krebs Cycle, assisting in the formation of energy. Therefore, when the individual has deficiency (anemia), it is possible to observe symptoms such as body pain, tiredness and indisposition.

How to maintain an iron-rich diet?

They can be classified into two types, i.e., the heme that is a constituent of hemoglobin and myoglobin, very present in meat and the non-heme, found in foods of vegetable origin. Thus, the absorption of the non-heme depends on the of its solubilization in the stomach and consequent reduction to the ferrous form in the intestine. In this context, food sources include beef, chicken, fish, pork and beef and chicken liver, while non-heme sources include eggs, legumes such as beans and lentils, as well as dark green leafy vegetables.

When do you need to supplement iron?

Because it is a sensitive mineral it can have its bioavailability affected, for example, heme iron is more bioavailable than non-heme, which tends to generate a deficiency in individuals who choose not to consume meat of animal origin. In addition, several factors can inhibit an efficient absorption of this micronutrient, which is observed when food sources of iron with calcium, dietary fiber, oxalates, polyphenols and the soy protein itself is associated in the same meal. On the other hand, it is possible to use as a strategy its joint consumption with vitamin C, since it improves its absorption, as well as amino acids in general. However, there are situations that even with these adjustments the diet cannot meet the demand, and at this moment should enter the supplementation, respecting the daily values for each individual and respecting the maximum limit, which is usually between 45 mg/day.


Reading suggestion: How to
supplement iron?

BORTOLINI, Gisele A; FISBERG, Mauro. Nutritional guidance of iron deficiency patients. Brazilian Journal of Hematology and Hemotherapy, v. 32, p. 105-113, 2010.

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